Lampwork is fascinating territory in the greater world of glass art.
Its unique technical and aesthetic opportunities command the attention of a growing number of artists and appreciators around the globe.
Every method of manipulating glass-whether "hot," "warm" or "cold"-brings out a different aspect of this amazing material. While lampworking shares some methods with other hot techniques, it is set apart by the primary use of a focused, directional heat source: the torch flame.
This makes a unique vocabulary of techniques available for detailed work.
It also lends itself to the assembly of component pieces into larger objects. Artists using this technique are therefore challenged to make the best use of this quality, or to transcend it in an internal aesthetic confrontation.
Lampwork has an ongoing relationship with science, more so than other glass fields.
The first microscope lenses were formed by lampworking, and countless crucial developments in chemistry, physics and other sciences have depended on apparatus made of lampworked glass. The techniques and vocabulary of science are therefore more familiar to branches of lampwork, and some lampworked glass can be seen as a dialogue between art and science.
Lampworking is also "contemporary" in its encouragement of an individual approach to the medium.
Although lampworkers can and do work together, the typical studio is a one-person operation. This gives free reign to the individual's creative inspiration and the development of a personal language. And while lampworking can be and is a spontaneous process, it also affords the artist an opportunity to readjust the form, to refine the embodiment of his inspiration, in a way that other hot glass forming methods do not.